Deadly crash reminder to be safe on Highway 74

Family remembers safety measures on deadly highway

Deadly crash reminder to be safe on Highway 74

PALM DESERT, Calif. - A motorcyclist was killed in a crash with a vehicle  in the narrow, winding switchbacks of Highway 74 above Palm Desert Sunday.

California Highway Patrol responded to a crash about two miles above the Palm Desert city line, near Vista Point on Highway 74.

Sgt. Destiny Tafoya says either the SUV, a silver Toyota, or the motorcycle crossed the double-yellow line as a result of high speeds. The motorcycle was heading downwards toward the desert, while the SUV was heading in the opposite direction.

"People need to be cognizant of their speed when they're coming down," said Sgt. Tafoya, "because excess speed cause you to cross the double yellows, and that's how incidents like this occur."

The Telles family, visiting from Oceanside, said they drive Highway 74 often, and know the risks - but reap the reward. "The drive is a lot quicker and the scenery is a lot more beautiful. It's much nicer than going through Hemet," says Dennis Telles, "It's beautiful, the cacti, ocotillo, the mountain views, it's really nice."

His son Mason starts junior high school on Monday, and says the drive is really nice. "It used to be scary when I was younger," he explains, "but now that I'm used to it, it's not that scary anymore."

The speed limit is 55 MPH on the road, but slows to 30 on some sharp turns.

At least three people have died since June on Highway 74.

Police have not released the vicrtim's identity or any other information regarding Sunday's crash.

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